Apple has developed a way to deliver true 3D content on Device Displays without requiring the use of 3D Glasses
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that relates to delivering 3D content like movies and augmented reality to devices like the iPhone, iPad and Macs without requiring 3D glasses that is used to watch a 3D movie in a theater. This could be a killer app if Apple is able to translate their patent into a real product before their competitors do.
Apple notes in their granted patent background that image and video content is also sometimes generated for separate viewing by the user's left and right eyes. For example, a movie theater can provide polarized or colored glasses or goggles to patrons that visually separate two concurrent (and commonly overlapping) images that, due to the separation of the viewer's eyes, add three-dimensional depth to the displayed concurrent images.
This depth can be used to provide virtual reality (VR) content in which a three-dimensional computer-generated immersive environment is created for the user and/or to provide augmented reality (AR) content in which computer-generated content is added to a direct or camera-generated view of the real-world environment surrounding the user.
AR and VR content can also be provided with dedicated AR/VR devices that often include two separate displays, one for each eye of the users, and that mask out all other visual input to the user's eyes.
However, it can be difficult to provide this type of content on a multi-function device such as a smartphone or a tablet, without generating visible artifacts such as motion blur, luminance offsets, or other effects which can be unpleasant or even dizzying to a viewer.
Apple's invention overcomes these current drawbacks.
Apple's patent covers control circuitry for electronic device displays. In accordance with various aspects, the electronic device displays are gate-in-panel (GIP) displays in which control circuitry for operating the pixels of the display is disposed on the same substrate (panel) on which the pixels are formed.
In some display modes, the entire display is operated to display an image (or string of image frames such as video frames) that are each intended to be viewed by both eyes of a viewer of the display. However, in some operating modes, the display is operated for split viewing of the display, in which a first portion (e.g., half) of the display is used to display content for the left eye of the viewer and a second portion (e.g., another half) of the display is used to display content for the right eye of the viewer.
For example, three-dimensional (3D) movie content, Augmented Reality (AR) applications that overlay virtual objects on a direct or camera view of the real-world environment, and Virtual Reality (VR) applications that generate three-dimensional virtual environments that are explorable by the user may utilize a split-screen view in which a first portion (e.g., half) of the display is used to display content for the left eye of the viewer and a second portion (e.g., another half) of the display is used to display content for the right eye of the viewer.
In accordance with various aspects of the subject technology, display driver systems and methods are provided for split-screen driving of rows of display pixels, which can compensate and/or prevent artifacts and motion blur.
Apple's patent FIG. 4 below illustrates a schematic diagram of a pixel array in a split-screen mode of operation. In the example of FIG. 4, split-screen content including left-eye content 406L and right-eye content 406R, is displayed.
Apple's patent FIG. 8 above illustrates a schematic diagram of display circuitry in a split-screen mode of operation; FIG. 15 illustrates a flow chart of an example process for operating an electronic device display in accordance with various aspects of the subject technology.
Apple notes that their technology could be applied to the iPhone, iPad, Macs, set-top boxes (Apple TV).
For more details, review Apple's granted patent 10,991,330 that was issued by USPTO on April 27, 2021.